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More on Soy and Breast Cancer

The relationship between soy products and breast cancer seems to be ever evolving. A new study sheds some light on the subject, but by no means closes the conversation. An ongoing Chinese study followed just over 5,000 breast cancer survivors between the ages of 20 and 75. The participants were broken up into two groups: those that ate more than 15 grams of soy protein daily and those that ate under five grams of soy protein daily. Four years into the study, the survival rate was higher and the recurrence rate was lower in the women who ate more soy.

In the past, it was theorized that soy isoflavones stimulated the estrogen receptors in breast-cancer cells, but this latest study may indicate the opposite is true. The lead author of the study, cancer epidemiologist Dr. Xiao Ou Shu, MD, PhD, theorizes that

"Soy isoflavones may compete with estrogens produced by the body. Soy isoflavones may also reduce the body's production of estrogen, and increase clearance of these hormones from the circulation — all of which together reduce the overall amount of estrogen in the body."

While other breast cancer experts are intrigued with these findings, they would like more evidence to support the potential benefits of soy before recommending their patients add more soy products to their diets. Once again, moderation reigns when it comes to diet. Dr. Larry Norton, medical director of the Evelyn Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, tells his patients that soy certainly has its place in a well balanced diet, but he doesn't recommend soy as the only source of protein nor does he recommend soy supplements.

Source: Flickr User adactio

Join The Conversation
VeeKeeTee VeeKeeTee 7 years
soy is actually delicious honestly most people are somewhat lactose intolerant soy is a great alternative (edamame aside)
karrots karrots 7 years
Too much soy is also bad. It's increases estrogen which can increase risk of breast cancer and cysts in the uterus. This result was released by a Chinese study... who produces soy and sells to the world. Soy can be good... but always in moderation.
biarose biarose 7 years
It's a relief for me too if it's true because I read about soy being bad, but I don't eat dairy and soy milk is a much better alternative for me than rice milk because it actually has protein.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
This is a relief for me as well. After reading that soy might be dangerous, I switched from soy to almond milk, but I still enjoy the occasional soy latte, tofu in moderation, and sushi just isn't the same without edamame and shoyu!
pixiedust2107 pixiedust2107 7 years
I'm currently taking pre-med courses at a university, and my medical ethnobotany professor assured us that soy isoflavones do not increase the risk of cancer as well. It is true that they bind to the same estrogen receptors in cells, but they actually outcompete the harmful ones causing a beneficial effect. However, he also said everything in moderation and definitely do not take supplements as they are too concentrated. It was nice to read this study affirming that. Yay for soy!
KadBunny KadBunny 7 years
Well I'm just about addicted to edamame and tofu so this is just a plus for me. :D A huge one at that. Hurray for soy!
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